Owned by California Baseball Greats, Rich Aurilia (Giants Commentator), Dave Roberts (Dodgers Manager) and John Micek Winemaker, Rolando Herrera
Winery: Owned by partners and friends, John Micek and former pro baseball players, Rich Aurilia (former SF Giants star and presently NBC TV Commentator) and Dave Roberts (former player and current Manager of World Series-winning LA Dodgers). This partnership of 3 families started with their 2007 inaugural vintage when both Rich and Dave played for the SF Giants, after Barry Bonds introduced them to winemaker Rolando Herrera. Rich and Amy Aurilia, John and Noelle Micek (both UC Davis-trained in viticulture), and Dave and Tricia (Certified Sommelier) Roberts have a “hands on” approach and are intimately involved in the winemaking process, working closely with their winemaker. They are very involved in the winery. The name Red Stitch refers to the red stitching on a baseball. Rich Aurilia, John Micek and Dave Roberts are all available for winemaker events, especially in the off season.
Winemaking: Winemaker Rolando Herrera is an American Dream success story. Moving from Mexico as a child, he was still a teenager when mentored in fine-winemaking by Warren Winiarski of Stags Leap Wine Cellars where he became Cellar Master. After years as Director of Winemaking with Paul Hobbs, he started his own famed winery, Mi Sueño. His wines have been served for Presidents of the USA and of Mexico and on professional baseball team charter flights. Rolando works closely with the Aurilias, Miceks and Roberts in many aspects of the winemaking, working together with the owner families who create all blends, both during the winemaking and to finalize each release.
Vineyards: They are committed to working with the highest quality, impeccably managed vineyards from ideal microclimates for each of their varietals. Sourcing and quantities all worked out by owners, particularly Rich and John. Rolando Herrera’s team farms the vineyards for the Cabernet, and works in consultation with Rich and John for vineyard management and picking decisions. John and Rich likewise work in concert with acclaimed fine grape grower Gary Franscioni for their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, both SIP-certified sustainably-farmed.
Chardonnay, Sierra Mar Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands 2018
92 Points, WE Winery Notes: “At over 1,000 feet above sea level, this vineyard is one of the highest in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA and offers old world minerality found in elevated vineyards with a ripe, rich finish. Aromatics of crisp green apple and ripe pear, accompanied by Meyer lemon zest, hints of Madagascar vanilla and nutmeg flavors resulting in elegantly structured yet decadent wine.” Located on steeply sloped ridges and drainages, the famed Sierra Mar Vineyard is SIP-Certified sustainably-farmed by Gary Franscioni. Aiming for accentuated minerality and citrus elements, the Wente clone is harvested cold between 2-5:00 am, cooler temperature-fermented for extended primary and complete ML fermentations, given periodic battonage, and aged in 55% new French oak for up to 10 months. 165 cases.
Pinot Noir, Soberanes Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands 2018 (Pisoni Clone) 92, WE Cellar Selection 91 Points, WS: “Juicy, with raspberry ganache and chocolate mousse flavors that turn plush and creamy mid-palate. Asian spice notes show on the ripe, brambly finish.” It is SIP sustainably-farmed by acclaimed growers Gary Pisoni and Gary Franscioni, and is one of the most highly sought-after gems of the SLH appellation. The close-spaced Pisoni (La Tache) clone in this site is typically slower-ripening, and presents wines with more verve, lighter color and aromatic floral aspects. Cold-harvested in the dark, hand-sorted in the vineyard and at winery, destemmed as whole berries, un-crushed grapes cold-soaked for 5 days or more with daily pump-overs, fermented on skins up to 3 weeks before gentle press and barrel aging (41% new French oak) for complete ML fermentation. Unfined, unfiltered. 240 cases.
Pinot Noir, Rosella’s Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands 2018 NEW, LIMITED 92, Wine Enthusiast 92 Points, Wine Enthusiast: “Dark in the glass while quite earthy on the nose, this single-vineyard expression offers aromas of blackberry and crushed rocks. There are rich blackberry flavors to the jammy, explosively flavorful palate, with cardamom and clove providing spicy depth.” Winery Notes: Lush raspberry, bright red cherry on the nose. Fine grain tannins and velvet mouthfeel. Chocolate covered cherries and the delicate essence of Madagascar vanilla on the finish. SIP-certified and farmed Sustainably by Gary Franscioni, it was aged in 47% new oak barrels 10 months. 250 cases.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2016. 91 Points, Wine Spectator 91 Points, Wine Spectator: “Not shy on ripeness, as lush plum and blueberry compote flavors glide along, infused with vanilla and licorice notes. An anise twinge extends the finish. Will have fans for sure.” From select blocks and 4 clones in three Cabernet Vineyards in cooler Coombsville (Frogtree, Carpignano, Toth), along with 3% Malbec from Linda Vista in Oak Knoll, all farmed by Rolando Herrera. The Cabernet reflects with concentration and flavor complexity the sandy, loamy soils, longer hang time and slightly cooler Cab-growing microclimate. October harvested from low-yield clones, the lots were blended after many blind trials. Fermentations completed in 55% new Taransault Barrels, blended with Malbec before bottling unfined and unfiltered. 300 cases.